- Our team must always, always, always, share WHY we do WHAT we do CONSTANTLY, because vision leaks and there are always new people who need to be brought up to speed. We must stop thinking that something said once is enough, IT ISN'T, especially when it concerns our worship services. We must CONSTANTLY be reinforcing the vision.
So that is one of the things I walked away with as a leader, so what about the songs we use during our worship services? Well there is a difference between the songs we use to build bridges and the songs we use to offer worship to God.
- BRIDGE BUILDING SONGS - These songs are nothing more than modern day parables that we use to meet people where they are. I'm pretty sure there was nothing spiritual about sparrows when Jesus used them in one of His talks, but what a great illustration they turned out to be, Jesus said if God takes care of them, He is more than capable of taking care of us. Oh by the way, the religious crowd of Jesus' day HATED the way He spoke and taught, INTERESTING. These BRIDGE BUILDING SONGS are simply a way for us to establish common ground with people who do not understand CHRISTIANEZE in order to prepare them to hear the LIFE CHANGING message of Jesus Christ. If I'm not mistaken, there was this Jewish Rabbi named Jesus Christ who used the same approach. That's right God, clothed in human flesh used modern day stories and the language of His culture to prepare peoples hearts to hear His Fathers story. HHHMMMMM, if Jesus did it, I say it's a pretty good plan for GRANITE to follow.
- WORSHIP SONGS - These are songs that are intended to OFFER TO GOD PRAISE. Songs sung to Him, not simply about Him. So are the songs that we are singing good worship songs? Well I read the lyrics and guess what they actually sing to and about the Lord, who would have thunk it! When your in church this weekend don't just follow along and sing, concentrate on the words of the songs, you will be amazed how awesome they are.
The truth is LIFE IS SHORT, ETERNITY IS LONG, and the STAKE ARE WAY TO HIGH for us to allow our church to have empty discussions about music. So I have some suggestions. If someone is looking for Choir music, traditional hymns packaged up in suites and ties then send them over to my good friend Danial at Marsh Corner Community Church, he is a great pastor with an amazing heart for God. If someone wants a church that is a praise and worship church send them to CROSSRAODS in Pelham, Matt Kyzer is a great pastor with an amazing church. If someone is looking for a church that is edger in their music approach then send them or encourage them to GRANITE.
What's the point? The point is within 15 minutes of our church are some great churches doing some great things, but doing them differently. We are called to be GRANITE, MARSH is called to be MARSH and CROSSROADS is called to be CROSSRAODS. Different strokes for different folks, different ministries philosophies to reach different people. All churches are necessary to reach all types of people. Different churches do not exist to compete with one another, the heart of God is that they would complete each other by reaching only those they can reach, while the other churches reach those they can reach.
I am proud of how our church has grown and I look forward to reaching NEW ENGLAND for Jesus. So to all the vision vandals out there, you need to know, THE DREAM OF JESUS IS NOT FOR SALE AT GRANITE. We are determined to do church for THE ONE who church is for and about, JESUS CHRIST.
And just one more thing before I close. I got to thinking just how selfish is it really for one or two or ever a dozen people to want to change what HUNDREDS of others enjoy worshiping to? Why is that your way is the right way? Why is it that if we don;t do things your way, you will walk away? Why is it that your commitment to the church is only as deep as the church meeting your needs? Here's a thought if hundreds of people are engaging in worship all around you, and your one of the few who aren't engaged in worship, maybe, just maybe it could be you that needs to change, hhhmmmmm.
To all my pastor brothers, lets never stop learning, leaders are learners, but lets not back down from God's dream and plan for His church over a few disgruntled voices.